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Columbia Engineering Welcomes the Class of 2025

Sep 03 2021 | By Jenna Kornicki | Photo Credit: Timothy Lee Photography

The Class of 2025 raises their beanies at Academic Assembly

You’ve come to the right place at the right time, Columbia Engineering Interim Dean Shih-Fu Chang told the lively, full house of first-year students who gathered at Columbia’s iconic Low Library to officially kick off their academic year on August 30. Guided by the School’s Engineering for Humanity vision, surrounded by the University’s other leading schools in science and the arts, medicine, journalism, business, and law, and embedded in one of the world’s most dynamic cities, Columbia engineers are well positioned to join the University’s longstanding history of creating positive social change.

Congregating under Low Rotunda’s regal dome for the School’s Academic Assembly, the Class of 2025 were treated to a line up of speakers reflecting on the innovative research happening at Columbia Engineering.

Professor Christine P. Hendon presented her cutting-edge work with the Structure Function Imaging Laboratory, explaining how her pioneering imaging technology partners with the medical school and beyond to tackle cancer, cardiac electrophysiology, and obstetrics.

Professor Harry West highlighted the changing nature of innovation, and how the 21st century demands ethical and sustainable consumption. Mechanical engineering alumnus Chelsea Roebuck told the students about his nonprofit organization ELiTE Education, which promotes the “engineering for humanity” mindset the School cultivates in its students. Senior Emma Glajchen, a biomedical engineering (BME) major, spoke of her experiences in the labs, and the human health impact of BME research. The group also received their traditional beanies and pins and pledged to uphold the University’s academic code of honor.

Class of 2025 brings an impressive pedigree with them – this talented group is the School’s most diverse set of admittees yet. They are researchers and activists, artists and innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs who have stepped up as leaders in their communities and demonstrated boundless resourcefulness and creativity. The 370 undergraduate engineers arriving in Morningside Heights this semester hail from 46 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and 31 countries. Some 52% identify as women, and three quarters as students of color. Nearly a fifth are the first in their families to pursue a college education.

Alongside their Columbia College classmates, these exceptional aspiring engineers also assembled in Low Plaza the day before for Columbia’s first in-person Convocation in two years, filing in to the raucous cheers of their orientation leaders.

There, Interim Dean Chang recounted Columbia engineers’ contributions to everything from transportation and sanitation to x-rays and antibiotics, giving engineering students a glimpse of the myriad of opportunities awaiting them over the next four years. “There are big challenges facing our society today,” said Dean Chang, “from the threat of climate change, the ongoing challenge of the pandemic, the necessity for technology that is accessible, ethical, and fair; and the urgent need for more inclusion and diversity throughout all sectors of society.”

Following Convocation, the combined 1,185 incoming first-years mingled, enjoying the warm summer night and bringing their camaraderie and community spirit back to campus.

Class of 2024

On Thursday, September 2 and Friday, September 3 the Class of 2024 received their beanies in person at special orientations for sophomores.

Morningside came alive with school spirit as the University welcomed new students and returning students to campus. Check out this photo gallery from the week.